I was asked earlier today by a rider if there were any exercises she could to prepare for riding in a side saddle lesson. Having only recently converted to the sideways side I thought it was only fair to share my experience and what I learned in those valuable first few weeks.
I went to the RDS Dublin Horse Show last week which can only mean one thing, well two things. 1. Cups of strawberries covered in chocolate (which ends up with me covered in chocolate) and 2. Shopping. Last week in an attempt to control myself I set myself a very specific short list of things I am permitted to purchase. The list included calmers that I have run out of (for the horse not me) and a new pair of jodhpur boots because my own ones have been worn to the point of almost falling apart.
It really only dawned on me the other day. I’d been told the horse had been shod and had just nodded my head in acknowledgemnt that it had to be paid for (for the sake of not giving the non-horsey readers a heart attack I won’t say how much horse shoes cost but lets just say if you paid this much for your own shoes and had to throw them away after 6-8 weeks of wear – you would be p*ssed). Yet here I was in Penneys almost doing cartwheels at finding a pair of flats for €9 that would stay within budget and might make me look like an expensive lady for all of five minutes. If the horses loses a shoe – it is replaced and paid for no questions asked. If I lose a shoe – well actually thanks to the government practically taxing breathing the tragedy is I can no longer afford to go out and get drunk enough to lose a shoe anywhere. It has dawned on me – if this was Downton Abbey the horse would be the lady of the manor and I would be the upper class British equivalent of Cinderella.
Bay / Chestnut / Dun Pony
Evening Before the show:
– clean tack
Morning of the show:
– pick out feet
– Put on travel gear
The evening before the show:
• Arrive at yard pleasantly surprised that pony is not quite as dirty as you expected. Pony turns around. Sadly realise that in fact all of the dirt is on the other side and is a mix of brown/green/yellow – basically every colour except white